|How to choose your stopwatch
As there are many different kinds of stopwatches, it is recommended that you devote a little time to making sure you choose the one most appropriate for your particular purpose. It is suggested that you decide first on the time division you need, then on the functions and thirdly on the kind of display ("analog" with hands as in mechanical models or "digital" as in quartz electronic).
You will need to take into account:
Recommended for timing events in which extreme accuracy is not required. If event lasts more than 30 mins., you should choose a model with a 0-60 minute (central) register. For timing events over 1 hour, choose a model which records hours too. This is the division most frequently used for timing in laboratories, research and those sports where the results are not required in fractions of a second. It is only available with analog display.
1/10 or 1/100 second
Recommended when greater accuracy than 1/5 second is required. For example: short and middle-distance track events (under 1500 m), swimming and precise scientific measurements. 1/10 is available only with analog display and 1/100 both with digital and analog display. To decide between analog and digital, consult section headed "analog or digital display".
1/100 minute (decimal minute)
Recommended for industrial timing in which the minute is divided into 100 parts to facilitate the analysis of results and the conversion into cost and production-time averages. Available with both analog and digital display.
Most stopwatches are used to time one single uninterrupted event. For this purpose the simplest model of stopwatch is all you need: one with 1 crown and no side buttons. However, as it is sometimes necessary to measure more than just the duration of one uninterrupted event, there are stopwatches with a number of other functions.
Recommended for all simple time measurements. The single crown is used to start, stop and return the hands to zero as well as wind the mechanism.
Time-out and safety-reset
If you wish, for example, to measure the time in which an event takes place including interruptions, a stopwatch with a time-out function will enable you to start the hands, stop them at the beginning of an interruption and restart them simply by pressing the crown. Known as safety reset or locked return, the hands can only be returned to zero if the stopwatch is first stopped, so that the timing is not affected by any accidental pressure on the side button. Standard for most analog stopwatches.
Time-out and fly-back return
Recommended for measuring successive cycles in time study or laboratory tests. As soon as one cycle has been completed and the time read off, a pressure on the side-button will send the hands back to zero from where they will start running again instantaneously as soon as the button is released. On some models the crown will activate the fly-back and instant restart feature, whereas a silent side-slide starts and stops the movement.
This is a typical function of a digital stopwatch and is used to "freeze" the display for a moment in order to read an intermediate time; internally the stopwatch goes on to measure the overall time for the event. Also available in mechanical models: the red hand is running together with the regular hand, this split-hand is stopped by depressing the pushbutton to read the time and will catch up to the regular hand by depressing the pushbutton again.
It is used, for instance when timing a car in an automobile race. The unit it set in motion at the start and when the car completes a lap, the net laptime is recorded and simultaneously the timing of the next lap starts.
Analog or digital display
Analog (with hands) stopwatches are mechanical and are recommended:
Decimal (1/100 minute)
Photocells & accessories
Countup & countdown
Analog & digital
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